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What’s more important than a travel budget?

In almost three years of writing on this blog this is the first time EVER I’m going to write about money. When my partner and I decided to quit our jobs and simply travel our friends’ most common questions where about “How are you financing this?”, “How much will it cost?” or more presumptiously “Wow, you really must have a lot of money!”.

I’d be lying if I told you a road trip, or any travel for that matter, is cheap. Also, before you get the wrong idea we’re not really filthy rich (oh boy, at least not in a monetary sense).

The truth, a hard learned fact from our experience, is it doesn’t matter how much or little money you have to travel because ultimately it will never be enough to make all your dreams come true.

While we’ve saved as much money as we possible could before we launched our road trip and reduced all our regular expenses while travelling as much as possible, the one thing that is a whole lot more important than having a big fat travel budget is knowing what you really want.

I know, this may sound a bit cryptic. Let me explain. Since your budget will be very likely a finite resource let’s not fret that fact. IT WILL RUN OUT. The only way to sweeten this bitter truth is to think about what the three most important things are that you want to take away from your travels.

Is it this day-tour to a remote island on a sailing boat? The hiking trip around a famous mountain, a cave tour exploring dark and forgotten worlds? Name it! Write them down. Talk to your travel companion about what it is you want to do.

Then, the next step: find out how much money you need to do exactly those three things. Easy? Ah well, it’s harder to narrow down the list of things than you might think. And it’s oh so much harder to realise that this one weekend-trip you’d love to do would blow your budget so much so that it’d

eradicate fresh food from your diet for the next six years…

Now that you know what you want and how much it is everything else falls into place – save up your money, buy your tickets, book the tour – or whatever it is that tickles your fancy.

In my travel guide I’ve dedicated an entire chapter about budgeting for a road trip around Australia. If that’s the place you want to explore you might like to sass out my book.

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11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Scott #

    No fresh food in my diet for 6 years? I liked the little pro mo for your E book!

    09/01/2013
    • LOL, slight exageration here…although if you look at how much a weekend away in Margaret River is…six years comes close to the savings required (almost).

      09/01/2013
  2. Thorsten #

    And then when the money has run out and you’re back in your normal life the big question is: when will I have the money saved up again to go on the next trip! That takes usually way too long!!!

    10/01/2013
    • Oh yes, that’s very true. But if it was all so easy to save money and travel than travelling wouldn’t be as special as it is. At least that’s what I keep telling myself LOL!

      11/01/2013
  3. Very right, I know those questions. People who earn more than me tell me “I’d like to travel as much as you if I could – but how can you afford this?” I don’t like this thinking and self-pitying, because if they really wanted to, they’d just do it. It’s just a matter of your personal lifestyle priorities. I don’t need the big house or the fast car.

    14/01/2013
    • Thanks for your thoughts. Good to hear others have similar experiences and thoughts. What’s your usual reply to people?

      16/01/2013
      • I usully tell them that they just choose to spend their money on different things than me, and that travelling doesn’t have to be extremely expensive – depending on where you go and how.

        17/01/2013
      • Nice. Honest and straight forward! The usual responds to this?

        17/01/2013
      • Normally, people understand that it’s all about preferences and priorities, and travel doesn’t seem to be their top priority. But I am lucky; most of my friends feel just like me, understand my lifestyle and are very supportive. How about you?

        18/01/2013
      • Very true, it is all about priorities. Yes, many of my friends love travel as much as I do, but then again some of my closest friends don’t travel often and have very different priorities (family, house, etc) and we still appreciate the other’s life, thoughts and company…

        18/01/2013

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